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Opposition keeps up pressure on Tamil Nadu Governor for floor test

Inordinate delay in seeking a confidence vote in the Assembly could also lead to horse trading, warns Congress.

Published: 24th August 2017 01:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th August 2017 07:22 AM   |  A+A-

Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Mounting pressure on Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao to act upon the letters submitted by AIADMK MLAs backing disgruntled T T V Dhinakaran to withdraw their support to Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, opposition parties, including the Congress, PMK and CPM in the State, on Wednesday demanded an immediate floor test to gauge  the strength of the ruling dispensation.

Congress Legislative Party leader in the Assembly K R Ramasamy wrote to the Governor after a meeting of his MLAs here. He said that an “unprecedented Constitutional crisis” had erupted as the Palaniswami government has lost majority.

“Any inordinate delay in asking the Chief Minister to prove his majority in the instant case will pave the way for continuance of an unconstitutional government and it will destabilise the democratic norms and precedents established in demonstrating the confidence of the House,” he warned.

The delay would also give room to the evil practice of horse trading that occurred when the incumbent chief minister proved his majority on an earlier confidence motion, Ramasamy noted. He requested the Governor to direct the CM to prove his majority in the Assembly immediately and uphold the constitutional norms and parameters laid down in the SR Bommai case verdict by the Supreme Court.

PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss, in a statement, questioned the silence of the Governor even after the government  had lost its majority. “The Governor took pleasure in joining hands of the leaders of both factions and in administering the oath of office (to the ministers) but he is delaying acting upon the letters withdrawing support to the government,” he said.

Alleging that the Governor’s approach was not in sync with that of an impartial, honest and constitutionally functioning authority, Ramadoss urged him to order a floor test before the end of the current week.

Ramadoss questioned the rationale behind the Governor leaving for Mumbai shortly after receiving the letters from the AIADMK dissenters and noted that the government having lost its majority can only act as a caretaker government and cannot exercise all the powers.

Terming the infighting within the AIADMK as greed for power, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) said the Edappadi Palaniswami-led government had lost majority as soon as a section of MLAs withdrew support. “The Governor must take necessary action to hold the confidence vote in the Assembly,” the party’s State secretary, G Ramakrishnan, said in a statement.

Communist Party of India (CPI) State secretary R Mutharasan said that the continuance of a minority government was not acceptable to democracy. “Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami must immediately prove his majority in the Assembly,” he urged.

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